We all know by now that social media is this Digital Age’s word-of-mouth. People like, follow, and retweet brands to show their support, endorsing their favorite brands on all social media platforms—although some feel more love than others. According to Forrester Research, Instagram is miles ahead when it comes to customer engagement (not a surprise with 400 million active monthly users, as of last count).

So how can your business capitalize on Instagram’s photo-centric potential?

Start strong

If you’re like me, you want to dive in head-first and breeze through standard setup procedure —don’t. You could miss opportunities to tweak your account to better help your brand. For your Instagram to reach its full potential you need to start your journey with a vision. Answer these questions to help guide that vision:

  • What do you want achieve with your account?
  • How do you want your business to be perceived?
  • What kind of content will drive your posts? Products? Customers? Lifestyle?

Once you establish some goals, start setting up your account. Your user name and icon should represent your company—make sure your icon is simple and will be identifiable in a small thumbnail form.

The most important yet overlooked part of your account setup? Writing your bio. You want to write a compelling, unique bio that encourages people to follow and share your brand. An Instagram bio is also the only place where you can have a live link, so be sure to take advantage of that and include a link to your businesses website. Be creative!

Be consistent

It’s all about having an Instagram marketing strategy. Consistency sets the bar for follower expectations and helps to ensure that you stay “on-brand.” Come up with a unique look for your visual posts. Stick to a consistent brand voice. And establish a steady publishing cadence.

Converse is a good example of a brand that remains consistent on Instagram by focusing their posts on featured products:

Here are some tips for maintaining brand consistency on Instagram:

  • Limit yourself to two filters so your photos have the same look, no matter what kind of content you post.
  • Include the same hashtags, with similar caption lengths.
  • Commit to posting at certain time on specific days.

Create an Instagram community

The last and final step for taking the gold in your businesses Instagram game is building an Instagram community. The best way to start building a community is to respond and make your followers feel like part of your brand. Respond to their comments, like their photos, and even regram your users’ content (if it is consistent with your brand’s theme.) Just be sure to give your followers photo credit when you regram their images.

Some of the best Instagram accounts are purely user-generated content, including GoPro and AirBnB:

To get maximum engagement on your Instagram posts, remember these three easy steps. Set the stage and start strong, be consistent, and most importantly, build a community through your Instagram account.

If you have any more tips and tricks to slide into first place on Instagram, I’d love to hear them! Tweet me @jjillij.

About the Author:

Jillian Johnson is a social media specialist at GoDaddy. She’s committed to contributing bold and innovative ideas for sharing brand and personal narratives online, and believes that a carefully crafted digital identity can be a game-changer for both businesses and individuals. In Jillian’s world, there’s a GIF for every emotion and a dance battle is the best way to settle a conflict. In her spare time, she is exploring Seattle, one local spot at a time.

3 Steps to Instagram Gold